To: International Officers, Alumnae Associations & House Corporations
Please see the message below and the attachment, which is being sent to you as requested by NPC Delegate Elisse Freeman.
Dear NPC Delegates and Presidents:
Please circulate the attached information on the September 27 Greek
Congressional Phone March ASAP to your members via e-mail and post it on your
websites. We are hoping to have a significant number of Greeks nationwide
participate in this event on Wednesday by calling their Members of the House and
the Senate and asking them to support the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure
Everything your members need to know to participate in this event should be
included in the attached two pages - we just ask that you get it out to them
quickly via email. Thanks in advance to the groups that will encourage their
members to participate and who circulate the information needed to participate.
The Attachment is posted here (Word document) or in the cut below.
GREEK LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT
Your Timely Action Is Needed
Call Your Member of Congress and Senators on Wednesday, September 27 and Urge Them to Support the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act
Dear Greek Leader:
We need your help! On Wednesday September 27, the Greek world is conducting a “Phone March” on Capitol Hill to bolster Congressional support for the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 1548/S. 713). From 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern that day, we are asking Greek leaders from across the country to call their legislators – the next page tells you how -- and to ask for support of the Act, which is legislation that will help preserve and enhance not-for-profit student housing options. We need as many Members of Congress as possible to support this legislative initiative, and your phone call will help show Capitol Hill how important this legislation is to their constituents and to the Greek community nationwide.
After you have called the House and Senate offices, please log onto fraternalcaucus.com and complete the “2006 Greek Phone March Contact Form.” It takes about a minute, but it but will provide the national Greek leadership with vital information that we can use in following up on your contacts.
Summary of the Bill: The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act would allow tax-deductible charitable contributions given to educational foundations (such as the national educational foundations for fraternities and sororities) to be used to make improvements to housing owned and operated for the benefit of college students. This bill would make it substantially easier for Greeks nationwide to raise the money needed to install critical life-safety improvements in our chapter housing, expand housing capacity, and otherwise modernize the housing we provide to our student members.
An earlier version of the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act passed the House of Representatives in 2003 as part of a larger bill but failed to pass the Senate for reasons out of our control. The current bill has 143 sponsors in the House of Representatives and 27 sponsors in the Senate. A complete list of current sponsors can be found here: http://www.fraternalcaucus.org/node/1
The Call for Action: No other piece of pending legislation would do more to help sustain and improve the Greek experience, and Congress needs to hear how important this bill is to their constituents.
Ideal Outcome: We urge you to call your Congressman and both of your Senators and ask them to become co-sponsors of the Act, and then report the results of your calls on fraternalcaucus.com.
GREEK LEGISLATIVE CALL SHEET
1. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 on Wednesday, September 27 and ask to be connected with your U.S. Congressman and/or Senators. If you don’t know who they are, check these links first: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
2. When connected with the appropriate office, ask to speak with the staff member who handles tax issues. If the person is not available, ask to speak with the education staffer. If neither staff member is available, leave a voice mail or speak with the person answering the phone.
3. Please try and make some of the following key points in your phone call, but be sure to personalize the call as much as possible to discuss how passage of the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act will benefit you or collegiate members of your fraternal organization. Where possible, reference the bill’s impact on colleges and universities in your immediate area.
-I live in your district/state and I am calling to ask the Congressman/Senator to become a co-sponsor of the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 1548 in the House or S. 713 in the Senate) and to push for its passage. I am also a member of ____ fraternity/sorority.
-I am concerned that many not-for-profit student housing facilities, including fraternity and sorority housing, are unable to use certain charitable contributions to fund safety upgrades and other necessary infrastructure improvements.
-Rising enrollment is creating severe housing shortages on college campuses nationwide, and not-for-profit housing is becoming more and more crucial to ensuring that students have access to safe and affordable campus housing options.
-Fraternities and sororities provide housing for over 250,000 students each year at no cost to the host institution, but much of this housing is in dire need of costly life safety upgrades and infrastructure improvements.
-Currently, tax-deductible contributions to fraternity and sorority foundations cannot be used for most infrastructure improvements to housing they own and operate, but contributions to colleges and universities can. The result is we lack the funding needed to make fire and life safety improvements or other infrastructure changes that would modernize our housing.
-The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act would eliminate this restriction and allow fraternities and sororities, as well as other not-for-profit housing operations, to install modern life safety equipment, such as fire sprinklers, smoke detectors, and alarm systems.
-The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act has been endorsed by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), two of the leading associations of higher education institutions.
-The bill has 143 sponsors in the House of Representatives and 27 sponsors in the Senate. There is no known opposition to the bill.
-I strongly urge the Senator/Representative to become a co-sponsor of this legislation.
4. KEY STEP: Then, go to www.fraternalcaucus.com and click on “2006 Greek Phone March Contact Form.” Complete the form summarizing your conversations with Congressional offices so that our national Greek leaders can track your involvement and plan appropriate follow-up steps. While on the website, please register as a member if you have not already done so – this will take just a few moments of your time.
If you don't like calling, almost every Member of Congress has email contact forms available from their websites. Cut and paste the key points, make it into a nice email and click send.
Note: I couldn't get the contact form at www.fraternalcaucus.com to work -- but contacting Congress is the more important step anyway.